Beauty & the Beast tickets on sale at Walton Arts Center!

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TOMORROW, May 1st, tickets will go on sale for Beauty & the Beast at the Walton Arts Center. There are lots of moms and daughters out there who are huge fans of the movie, so we know you’ll want to see it come to life on stage at Walton Arts Center this summer.

This is also shaping up to be a big “date night” for lots of couples ready to see a Broadway favorite hit Dickson Street in Fayetteville. We can’t wait to see this one!

If you are one of the first 50 people in line at the Walton Arts Center tomorrow, May 1st, at 10 a.m. you’ll score some great Beauty and the Beast merchandise! There will also be grand prizes for the first three families in line. Girls are invited to come dressed as their favorite Disney princess. Get there early for breakfast sandwiches from Razor’s Edge and watch exclusive footage from this amazing musical. You can also enter to win prizes from M&M’s and Procter & Gamble. We love free stuff!

The dates for the show are July 27th through August 8th. If you want great seats, buy tickets early because you know this one is going to be extremely popular with adults and kids alike. Disney’s Beauty and the Beast tickets are also available at www.waltonartscenter.org and by calling 479-443-5600, but prizes are only available in person. See you at the show!

Getting Healthy for Good: One Meal at a Time

By Laurie Marshall

Okay people, it’s nearly May. Remember the promises we made to ourselves, the folks at our Weight Watcher’s meetings and our office-mates to count our calories, or our points, or cut back on sweets…?  Yeah, we’re starting to wonder what exactly the point was, aren’t we? Life has rudely intruded and made a wreck of all those good intentions, right?

But don’t give up!!! When you are getting to the point where you’ve let a few days go by without counting or you’ve gained a couple of pounds back, don’t look ahead at the next week of unpredictability and get discouraged – take it one meal at a time. I’ll give you an example:

I recently spent four days in Baltimore for a professional conference. I could have anticipated that week being a huge step back in my attempts to get healthy, but instead, I approached every meal as another opportunity to make good choices. I also made an effort to take the stairs, walk to and from the conference instead of taking a cab, and stuck to my ongoing commitment to drink water and tea instead of soda. I didn’t take the stairs at my hotel, since I was staying on the 11th floor… but you get the idea.

Every meal I ate was prepared in a restaurant kitchen, and one had a lovely cream sauce, but I paid attention to my portions, didn’t try to “clean my plate”, filled up on salad before the main course when that was an option, and ordered everything broiled rather than fried. I also skipped the dipping sauces and only had dessert once when I was sharing it with some of my colleagues. These were all common-sense ideas – nothing earth-shattering. When I came home and weighed myself… I hadn’t lost any weight, but I also hadn’t gained. Success!!

As I said early on, the key to living a healthy life (as opposed to being on a diet) is taking small steps and making small goals. Eventually, the small successes add up to a big one. And the more small ones you get behind you, the stronger your resolve becomes and the easier it gets to believe you can do what you’ve set out to do. It’s a balancing act – staying healthy while not denying ourselves some of the basic things that make life worth living. Like fresh crab chowder and grilled calamari.

On another note – a reader asked if I could create a list of local restaurants that feature organic selections. While I was looking around online for some information, I found out that Ozark Slow Food posted a list of local eateries that featured organic selections during Earth Day celebrations. (Click here to go to the website.)  I will try to compile a list of restaurants in NW Arkansas that offer organic items on their menus year-round as well – but do take a look at their website to get you started. They also have a great list of local places to get fresh and farm-grown produce and other food items.

laurie-marshallthumbnail1.jpgLook for Laurie’s fitness tips and updates on her personal health-focused journey every other Friday on nwaMotherlode in Mom Blogs. Send questions or input to her at mamas@nwaMotherlode.com. Or click on the comment button below and share your thoughts right now! To see previous installments of Getting Healthy for Good, click HERE.

Drama for Mama: American Idol

So long, Siobahn. We had to say goodbye to this season’s “screamer” Wednesday night when Siobahn Magnus was amer-idol.jpgeliminated. I was a tad surprised to see her go because she sang last on Tuesday night, and the person singing last is typically safe because their performance is still fresh on voters’ minds when the phone lines open.

But apparently that didn’t help Siobahn much. It was down to her and Casey James in the bottom two, and I have to admit that I was pulling for Casey to stick around. I thought his performance Tuesday night was, by far, his best all season so I didn’t want to see him go.

Siobahn, on the other hand, had an okay performance on Tuesday, with a few of her signature BIG, HIGH notes. But overall, I was never as enthralled with her performances as the judges seemed to be. For me, she sounded more like a beauty pageant singer who would, in mid-song,  suddenly morph into this rip-roaring diva rocker. When she hit her zone with the high notes, she was brilliant. But the song, as a whole, was never brilliant, in my humble opinion. I bet, with the right vocal coach, she could give a more cohesive performance and do big things.

The other big Idol news was that, for the first time since this season started, the judges didn’t love, love, love Crystal Bowersox‘s performance. She sang “No One Needs to Know Right Now,” by Shania Twain. (Shania was this week’s mentor and was in the audience watching. No pressure, kids!) Crystal’s version was much slower and just didn’t have the same zing that the original recording has.

The “Ahhhh, that’s so sweet” moment of Tuesday’s show came when 17-year-old Aaron Kelly said that he sang “You’ve Got a Way With Me,” (by Shania Twain) to his mother. (He did change a few of the lyrics so that it was appropriate for a mom instead of a lover. Thank goodness.) All the judges loved his performance, and this week made it more than obvious that Aaron’s future is in country music.

Lee DeWyze is still one of my faves, but his voice sounded a tad strained on Tuesday night. Even he said in a backstage interview that he was a little concerned about that particular performance. No worries, though. He didn’t land in the bottom three. Michael Lynche, however, was in the bottom three but was sent back to safety first. He sang “It Only Hurts When I’m Breathing,” on Tuesday night and gave a solid, emotional performance that brought a tear to Shania’s eye.

I’m SO excited to see next week’s show because Harry Connick Jr. will be the mentor (swoon!). They’ll be singing Frank Sinatra songs, which should be interesting to see how kids this young handle the classics.

Anybody want to go out on a limb and make a prediction for who will take this year’s title? I’d really like to see Lee DeWyze, Crystal Bowersox and Casey James in the final three. Who are you pulling for? Click the word “comment” below and let us know.

5 Minutes with a (Roller Derby) Mom: Jessica Kitchens

blazen.jpgName: Jessica Kitchens

We understand you have an alias, Blazen Glory. Tell us about it! In 2005 I founded a nonprofit called Fight the Blaze (www.fighttheblaze.org) that helps to educate and prevent childhood sexual abuse. “Blazen” came from that. “Glory” was added after a couple of the derby girls said I needed something with it. It helped that I loved the song Blaze of Glory.

Roller derby is a pretty unique hobby for a mom. When/why did you get involved? I got on league in 2007. I heard about it in 2006 from one of my friends from graduate school who is also on league (The Professional). At that time I wasn’t able to join because I was pregnant with my third child, Ryker. I have played sports since I was in the 3rd grade and have always wanted to try a contact sport. This sounded perfect for me. I didn’t even have to think about it.

Have you ever suffered a bad injury? Or dealt one out? ;) Mostly bruises, but I did receive a broken nose during one particular bout. Ironically it was one of my own teammates who elbowed me. Good thing was it didn’t slow me down, I kept skating, it just made me really mad. I have also had a fractured finger. I haven’t provided any good injuries to my teammates that I am aware of… thank goodness.

Do your kids travel with you to bouts? For the most part no. I am blessed enough to have a husband who steps in and becomes super dad the 3-4 times a year I have to go to an away bout. I think the main reason they do not go is because the travel for most of our bouts have been on average 8-10 hours of a drive.

What are your children’s names and ages? Gage Dawson, 9; Kieran Avery Rayne, 6; Ryker Embry, 3

When you’re not roller derbying and mommying, what are you up to? I work full time at Vista Health in Fayetteville as an inpatient psycho-therapist. I work mostly with children and adolescents struggling with psychiatric, emotional, and behavioral problems as well as their families. It’s tough but rewarding work. My family is also active in our church, where my husband and I help teach a Wednesday night children’s ministry. Needless to say we are both very busy.

Where do you live in NWA? We currently live in Springdale.

Where were you born and raised? I was born in Denver, CO, and lived in Colorado until I was 4. My family then moved to McAlester, OK where I lived until I graduated high school. I married my husband a year later and then we both moved to Ada, OK, for college. We made our way to NWA in 2003 when my husband got offered a graduate assistanceship at the University of Arkansas. And we have been here ever since.

If you could live anywhere in the world, where would it be? Oh, that’s easy.. Ireland! I talk about it all the time and my hope to at least visit it someday. My second choice would be the Rocky Mountains. I love the Mountains.

If you went back to college what would you study? I would like to get my PhD in Counseling someday. But unless someone offers to pay me to do that, it probably won’t happen.

If you had a whole weekend to yourself what would you do? Probably sleep, I am easy. Maybe go get a massage, but yes, definitely sleep.

What are some of your favorite things to do with the kids? When it is nice we love to go to the park. The kids also love the Jumpzone in Bentonville. I kind of like it myself, actually. Those things are fun.

What traditions do you hope to pass on to your children? I hope they understand the importance of sitting down as a family for dinner. I grew up in a home that always sat down for dinner, so I guess it got passed down to me. We also have some Christmas and Easter traditions that I hope they continue in their own families. But, I am also not opposed to them starting their own.

Besides roller derby, what are some of your other interests? I like graphic art and design. Before rollerderby I volunteered many hours designing photo signatures for Mother’s using their own pictures, for use in emails and various bulletin boards. I still do my own occasionally, but not near the amount that I used to. I also love to read, crochet, and draw if I have the time. I will also jump at the chance to play some softball and basketball, which were the sports I grew up playing.

What was the best parenting advice you ever received? My Mother and Mother in law were great in the fact that they didn’t give me a whole lot of verbal advice, but were great about showing me ways to do things. Also, not sure who it was that told me about the sling, but that was one of the most useful tools to help hold babies and still be able to get things done.

If someone wrote a book about your life, what would a good title be? Anatomy of Exhaustion

What are you listening to on your ipod right now? I am a classic rock girl by heart. I can thank my parents for that. My ultimate favorite is Fleetwood Mac, but I also love Led Zepplin, Tom Petty, Creedence, Bob Seger, etc.

Something you cannot live without? My God, my family, and chocolate.

One word to sum me up … persevering

Note from the mamas: The Arkansas Killbillies (which Jessica is part of) will have its last home bout of the season at 7 p.m. on May 15 at Starlight Skatium in Fayetteville. Doors open at 6 and the show begins at 7. Tickets are $10 online and $15 at the door. All bouts have sold out this season, so keep that in mind!

Haiti update by Dr. Adam Maass

This is Part 2 of a series of video clips we took of our conversation with Dr. Adam Maass of Mercy Health System. (Click here to watch the first video clip previously published.) Dr. Maass recently returned from his second trip to Haiti, where he worked in tent cities treating hundreds of people effected by the earthquake. In this video clip, he talks about the significant changes he noticed in Haiti between his first trip in January and the second trip in March.

Click the play arrow to watch the short video.

What We’re Reading to the Kids!

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Need some new books to read to the kids? Here are two great picks from our resident book expert and bookshop owner, Marti Genge of Pages of Parenting Bookstore.

What If Everybody Did That? by Ellen Javernick

book.gifThis Earth-friendly children’s book shows how each person’s small, everyday choices – good or bad- have consequences one way or the other on this world. The illustrations show great ideas for helping the world be a better place. The main character is a boy who does varies things that causes a reaction such as, “On the way to visit Grandma and Grandpa in Kansas, I dropped just one soda can out the window. The Patrolman who pulled us over said, “What if everybody did that?”

The little boy goes on to do many everyday things that cause us to pause and see the effects. In the end….wait I won’t tell you the ending. I will give you a hint, “Everybody Should!”

Family Fun Night by Cynthia L Copeland

61qxzuy7pjl_sl500_aa300_.jpgWhat a great book to get your family bonding, back on track, expand your tradition’s and have some of that one-on-one time. Cynthia Copeland has put together some unique and fun activities, snacks, and thrifty options to go with that special set aside time. Copeland inserts her personal tips in highlighted sections called MY STORY along with her ideas. On page 149 she has a list of snacks to go with game night. Chapter 12 is loaded with ideas for last-minute family fun nights when all can’t get together except for meal time.

Listed are great fun games at the dinner table while you eat. For example, a tip called Word of Mouth-you mouth a sentence to the person across from you, she has to guess what you said. No repeating the sentence. What about a meal based on a popular children’s book? Now that sounds fun. The book again is Family Fun Night ( Over 300 Great nights with your kids).

“What We’re Reading” is sponsored by Witherspoon Optometry, owned by Dr. David Witherspoon and Dr. DeAnne Witherspoon. Their practice is located at 5212 Village Parkway in the Village on the Creeks plaza in Rogers. You may also call 479-464-9702 to ask questions or schedule an appointment. Click here to visit them online.

For more information on these and other great books for kids, click here to visit Marti’s Pages of Parenting website.

Drama for Mama: The Good Wife

the-good-wife-promo_557x8251.jpgWell, The Good Wife may be trying to rid herself of that title.

Last night’s episode was fast-paced and – as usual – difficult to follow if you didn’t pay close attention. I made the mistake of grabbing a snack a few seconds after the beginning and missed exactly how a newspaper’s managing editor died in a bombing at the newspaper where he worked.

There’s always a good case that weaves throughout the main story line.

Nonetheless, I was able to jump right in. The important piece of the puzzle was that Alicia’s firm — Stern, Lockhart & Gardner – was defending the newspaper in question. Negotiations changed when the wife of the deceased newspaperman decided she wanted a new attorney: Jonas Stern. Stern (formerly a partner at Stern, Lockhart & Gardner — his name just hasn’t been removed from the sign yet) – walked into the room and made no bones about the fact that he hopes to damage Lockhart & Gardner in any way he can.

As it turns out, he’s got his eye on some of the attorneys at his old firm, including Cary and Julius. Cary finds out from an old girlfriend who’s now employed by Stern that he’s going to be asked to jump ship — a ship that’s going down in many people’s opinions.

The Stern attorney notes that everyone knows about the “competition” between Cary and Alicia about who will get to keep their current job.

But Will decides not to accept the Stern position and instead tells his boss, Will, about Stern’s attempt to poach him. “I’m a team player,” Cary notes, clearly working every angle to win that competition.

On the appeals front, Peter’s team gets wind of a “surprise witness” that the prosecution might call during the trial. When Alicia runs into Gerald Kozko, whose name has been connected to the court case before, he tells her, “Tell Peter I’m sorry.”

Well, that was enough to get everyone’s attention. When Peter’s team goes to speak to Kozko to find out if he might be the surprise witness, things don’t look good.  When they asked if the state’s attorney has offered Kozko immunity to testify against Peter, he just walks away.

Meanwhile, Peter is still seeking religion. He’s meeting with a local African American pastor weekly. It’s unclear whether this is a true conversion or a ploy to gain favor with the public. Peter’s mother, Jackie, doesn’t care for the turn of events and encourages Peter to speak to a “nice Episcopalian priest”. She tells Peter that he’s a “good man” and doesn’t need to keep apologizing to Alicia.

Peter, who wears an ankle bracelet and can’t leave the apartment, is given permission to attend church. He, Alicia and the kids visit the African American church. Halfway through the service, Peter gets up and heads to the back.

He goes to speak privately to Kozko, who tells Peter that the state’s attorney has him backed in the corner and that he has no choice but to testify against Peter. Kozko notes, “It’s not all lies. Not the videotape of us in the hotel room.”

Interesting.

Peter catches on fairly quickly that Kozko is already on his way to testifying so he rips open Kozko’s shirt. He’s wearing a wire. After Peter smashes the device, he reminds Kozko of all the stuff he knows not only about him but Kozko’s married son as well. 

“You’re a Christian, right?” Kozko asks, clearly hoping Peter’s change of spiritual heart will work to his advantage.

“**** right I am,” Peter says. “Have you ever read the Old Testament?”

Well, Alicia gets suspicious and heads to the back of the church just in time to see Kozko run out the door with a ripped shirt and Peter coming out all businesslike.

She doesn’t know exactly what’s up, but smells a rat.

Later that night, she’s talking to Will and preparing to leave the house. She tells Peter she’s going out with “an old friend” which we all know is Will.

“Am I not supposed to be jealous?” Peter asks.

“I don’t think I care what you are,” she replies. A few minutes later she tells him, “It’s over.”

You think she means the marriage – and maybe she does – but she clarifies that she’s over caring about him. He begs her to “help” him but she tells him there’s nothing he can say to change her mind.

She leaves the apartment and Peter stands at the threshold, knowing that he’s under house arrest and can’t step outside. But he makes a decision, steps to the elevator and pushes the button. Off goes the alarm. Scene.

Next week it looks like Peter catches up with Alicia and craziness ensues with the police tracking him down and the kids doing something to help their dad. The alarm continues to scream.

Drama for Mama: Parenthood

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By Cara Cleek Ogden

Hopefully you didn’t miss this funny, engaging episode of Parenthood. But, if you did, allow me to catch you up……

Joel and Julia’s daughter, Sydney, has apparently broken a vase but is denying it. When Julia questions her honesty, Sydney counters by saying that Julia is a lawyer and that, according to her best friend Harmony’s mom (a.k.a. Julia’s arch-nemesis), all lawyers are liars. Julia decides to leave the broken vase lying on the floor until the responsible party comes clean. Sydney refuses to admit anything.

Kristina and Adam are puzzled when they receive a lacy undergarment in the mail and realize it’s meant for Haddie.  Kristina asks Haddie why she’d order such a sexy bra, which leads to a mother-daughter talk about sex and dating.  Kristina realizes that Haddie is growing up, and wants her to make the right choices.

Meanwhile, Kristina’s friend Denise is running for Lieutenant Governor and has asked Kristina to help with the campaign over the weekend. While getting wardrobe advice from Julia and Sarah, Kristina ends up telling them about Haddie’s sexy bra. The three women talk about their children’s truthfulness (or lack thereof) and Sarah makes the “all lawyers are liars” joke, suggesting in jest that Julia’s daughter Sydney may have learned to lie by example, which makes Julia get all prickly.

Drew wants to go to the school dance when he finds out the girl he’s crushing on is going. He goes to his Uncle Adam and confides that he doesn’t know how to dance. It turns out that Adam’s high school nickname was “Fever” (as in Saturday Night Fever), and Adam proceeds to clear the living room floor to give an impromptu dance demonstration which is joined by Kristina, Sarah and Julia. Drew looks on with discomfort. I’ve seen this look before, on my daughter’s face, when I try to dance.

After Crosby and Jasmine share an impulsive kiss, Crosby tells Adam that he’s reluctant to commit to a relationship.  Adam suggests that he try dating. Crosby likes this idea and invites Jasmine to go to dinner, just the two of them.

When Crosby and Jasmine drop Jabbar off at Josh and Julia’s for the evening, they take note of the broken vase which Julia has stubbornly left on the living room floor. Later that night, during their dinner date, Crosby gets a phone call from Julia saying that Jabbar is upset and wants to go home. When Crosby and Jasmine go to pick up Jabbar, they’re amused to find out that all Jabbar wanted was to go home to use the bathroom, and they work together to coax their son into using the toilet at Aunt Julia’s house. I can only assume that this was supposed to be an example of really good co-parenting. With the problem solved, Crosby and Jasmine resume their date and wake up the next morning together in Crosby’s bed.

The next day, after a few passive-aggressive talks about honesty from Julia, Sydney finally – and grudgingly – confesses to having broken the vase. Julia has won this battle of the wills, and Joel gives her a look that lets her know that he knows exactly where their daughter got her stubbornness gene.

Sarah is excited about planning a college tour for the not-so-excited Amber, and has taken on some extra work to fund it. She asks Amber to help her at a catering job that she’s working at a local college, thinking that Amber can get some inspiration from being on a college campus. Once on campus, Sarah acts so excited that you’d think it was SHE who was planning to go to school. At their catering gig, Sarah and Amber run into Jim, an old high school friend of Sarah’s that she briefly dated a few months back. She’d thought that he only worked at a coffee bar, but it turns out that Jim is a published poet and the guest of honor at the event that they’re catering. As Jim recites his poetry, Sarah realizes that his poems are about her; or more specifically, about a personal part of her anatomy. Awkwardness ensues.

On their way home, Sarah and Amber talk about Jim’s poems. Sarah’s sort of impressed at Jim’s accomplishments and Amber’s sort of grossed out. For the record, I was also grossed out. Sarah, however, somehow uses it as an example of how important it is that Amber not give up on herself. Later, Amber comes to Sarah with a Berkeley catalog. Sarah thinks Amber’s finally getting into the idea of a college tour, until Amber says the catalog is for Sarah. Maybe Sarah shouldn’t give up on herself, either.

Kristina goes off on the weekend campaign trip, but is worried about leaving her family. Adam assures her that all will be well. When she arrives at campaign headquarters and is introduced to the young staff, she quickly realizes that with her leather-bound address book and briefcase full of old files, she’s a little behind the times in today’s world of technology, “tweets” and social networking. Later, Kristina and the rest of the staff talk to an assemblyman about endorsing their candidate. Kristina’s old-school and straightforward attitude is what eventually wins the endorsement. Old-school prevails!

Adam and the kids are back at home. Haddie, who is planning to go out, is wearing a top that reveals her bra strap, and Adam realizes that she’s wearing the ”sexy” bra. Drew stops by on his way to the dance, with cold feet. Adam gives him a little pep-talk and offers to drive Drew to the dance, giving him a perfect excuse to ask Haddie to stay home and watch Max, thus preventing her from going on her date. However, Adam and Drew quickly return; Drew having been shot down by the girl he likes. Haddie tries to leave for her date and Adam stalls her. Haddie realizes that the fact that she’s wearing the “sexy” bra is making her dad uncomfortable and calls Adam’s bluff by unhooking the bra and pulling it from under her shirt, dropping it on the table as she leaves the house, bra-less.  Adam soon goes after her, finding her at her boyfriend’s house, making out on the bed in his room. Adam tells Haddie it’s time to leave and of course, she’s furious. Later at home, Adam lays down the law. Haddie points out that he’s showing a double standard with his encouragement of Drew and the school dance, but his discouragement of her and her dating life. Adam gets her point, but isn’t happy about it.

Kristina returns home and tells Adam that she’s been offered a full-time job on the campaign. She confesses that she’d enjoyed what she’d been doing all weekend and Adam encourages her to take the job. As they talk about logistics, Kristina realizes that it’s not the right time for her to return to work. She’s willing to pass up the opportunity for the sake of her family, but begins to tell Adam about her weekend in an excited, animated way that leads us to believe that the case may not be quite closed.

cara-cleek-ogdenthumbnail1.jpgCara is a working single mom of a very energetic 10-year-old daughter, Ibby. Cara adds, “At the end of my day, I often have just enough strength left to operate the remote control. Thankfully, my personal life is fairly calm. So in order to up the drama quotient, I keep up with my favorite TV shows. I may feel differently in a few years when my daughter hits puberty. But for now, I’m glad to have some ‘Drama for Mama’.”

Crystal Bridges at the Massey news

157.jpgThrough May 30, the exhibition Looking at Our Landscape will be on display at Crystal Bridges at the Massey. More than 100 community members, from children aged 12 to adults over 80, submitted photographs to Looking at Our Landscape, a juried community photography exhibition that focuses on the natural beauty of Northwest Arkansas. (The photo at right is by Edward C. Robinson, The Flow.)

Some captured the sparkling waters of the Kings and Buffalo Rivers, the faceted rock formations at Tanyard Creek and the barns and pastures of back roads Arkansas. Others trained their lenses on culturally significant sites: Eureka Springs’ signal tree, a rural grave shelter and the grafittied remnants of Monte Ne resort.

To view all works submitted and download a map to selected sites, be sure to visit the web site for the exhibition, lookingatourlandscape.org. To see the exhibit in person, Crystal Bridges is located just off the downtown Bentonville Square, 125 W. Central Ave. 479-418-5700. The permanent museum is still under construction.

166.jpgAnother family outing you might consider: Family Fun in the Gardens. Help Crystal Bridges celebrate National Public Gardens Day with hands-on art making along the garden path! Create your own nature journal, a flowerpot for your feathered friends, leaf rubbings and more while you discover the wonders of Compton Gardens.

  • Saturday, May 8, 9:30 a.m. – 3 p.m. (rain or shine)
  • Compton Gardens
  • 312 N. Main St., Bentonville, AR
  • 479-254-3870

Drop-in art and nature appreciation experiences for children and families of all ages.

Drama for Mama: Desperate Housewives

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By Gwen Rockwood, mama of 3

This Sunday’s episode of Desperate Housewives was really kind of sad, even though it was about a serial killer. It gave us the background we needed on Eddie, the 18-year-old kid who grew up in the neighborhood and turned into a killer that no one suspects of even being capable of violence. And it reminds us just how HUGE a mother’s role is in the life of her child.

This episode showed Eddie’s interactions with the housewives of Wisteria Lane, including Mary Katherine (the show’s narrator who killed herself in the first episode). Eddie was 4-years-old then, and his father left him and his mother because he didn’t want kids. Eddie’s loser mom turned her anger and disappointment for the ex-husband onto her son, saying “Oh, Eddie. It’s not your fault you ruined my life.”

But she definitely treated him like it was his fault his whole life, leaving him alone for long periods of time, drinking uncontrollably, sleeping with various strange men and mocking him any time she had a chance. Worst of all, she didn’t love him and he knew it. His longing for maternal love led him to form friendships with each of the housewives of Wisteria Lane. This episode detailed those relationships and how they came to be.

It also explained how and why Julie, Susan’s daughter, was attacked. Eddie and Susan had struck up a friendship when Susan noticed Eddie’s talent for drawing. She encouraged him and even sent him to an art class that she paid for. He fell in love with her attention and encouragement and was crushed when she suddenly re-married Mike. After the wedding, he went to her house to attack her and accidentally attacked Julie who was taking out the trash in the dark. He’d assumed she was Susan.

At the end of the episode, Eddie was at Lynette’s house hanging out with her family when his mother showed up drunk at their house to berate him for hiding her booze. Lynette told her not to talk to Eddie that way, and the drunk mother basically said “What are you going to do about it?” Eddie left with his mother. Shortly afterward, his mother found a hidden scrapbook of the newspaper articles Eddie had been saving about the girls he attacked or killed. She confronted him and asked if he had attacked the girls. He admitted it. She said she “didn’t raise him that way.” He insisted that she had indeed raised him to be a monster. She tried to call the police and Eddie whacked her over the head with a bottle of booze. They struggled, and he strangled her to death, just as he had his other victims.

Just then, Lynette showed up at the door to talk to Eddie, asking him to come live at her house to escape his abusive mother. (She actually saw his mother’s body on the floor but assumed she was passed out drunk.) Eddie agreed to move in with Lynette’s family, which means she has put herself squarely in danger — just in time for the season finale. Stay tuned!

Good Gossip: Twilight news, Luke Wilson and more!

Brad Pitt’s younger brother, Doug Pitt, 43, has been appointed the U.S. Goodwill Ambassador to Tanzania in Africa. Doug Pitt said “It’s a great honor.” Brad said he is very proud of his brother who has been engaged in humanitarian efforts in Africa for years. (Source: People magazine, May 3, 2010 edition)

sex_and_the_city_2_poster.jpgWe all know that fashion will have a starring role in the Sex and the City sequel, which will hit theaters on May 27th. Kim Cattrall had 25 costume changes. Kristin Davis had 24 as did Cynthia Nixon. And Sarah Jessica Parker, who plays Carrie Bradshaw, had a whopping 41 costume changes! (Source: Entertainment Weekly, April 30, 2010)

Ever wonder what celebrities put on their “bucket list”? For Luke Wilson, fatherhood is luke-wilson.jpgon the list. “I used to get so pumped when my dad would come home from work. I’d like to experience that for myself,” he said. The other two things that made the list were “Have a beer with Clint Eastwood,” and “Make the Most Beautiful list in People magazine again.” (Source: People magazine, May 3, 2010 edition)

Christina Applegate, 38, is planning to marry Dutch musician Martyn Lenoble, 41. The couple has been dating for two years and got engaged on Valentine’s Day. This will be the second marriage for both. (Source: People magazine, May 3, 2010 edition)

eclipse_logo.jpgAttention Twilight fans! Wyck Godfrey, a producer of the movie Eclipse (due in theaters on June 30th)said the proposal scene between Edward and Bella will not disappoint rabid Twihards. “She walks into Edward’s room and there’s a beautiful four-poster bed and it’s like, ‘Wow, here we go!’” The movie will be released on June 30th. (Source: Entertainment Weekly, April 30, 2010 edition)

Valerie Bertinelli finished her first full marathon four days before her 50th birthday. The actress says that exercise and the Jenny Craig program helped her lose 40 pounds. (Source: People magazine, May 3, 2010 edition)

puss_in_boots_new_shrek.jpegAntonio Banderas, who will once again be the voice of Puss in Boots in Shrek Forever After this May, had a great quote about marriage in the most recent issue of People magazine. “People want very passionate relationships, and when the passion wanes, they just move on,” says Banderas. “The stage that I’m in now, 15 years along, you only get with time. That’s what people forget — that there are some very beautiful stages later on.” Banderas and his wife, actress Melanie Griffith, will celebrate their 14th wedding anniversary on May 14th. The new Shrek movie hits theaters on May 21st. (Source: People magazine, May 3, 2010 edition)

nikitaylor.jpgHere’s what model Niki Taylor said about her post-baby workout routine. (She has lost 59 pounds since giving birth to a daughter 13 months ago.) “If I have dessert, I spend half an hour more exercising,” said Taylor, who usually does 30 minutes of cardio a day. “So I would rather just have a bite than work out an hour!” As for weight training? Niki said “I’m lifting a 25 pound baby, her stroller and a diaper bag. That’s a workout.” And the mamas say… “Amen, sister!” (Source: People magazine, May 3, 2010 edition)

Giveaway: Scentsy Wickless Candles!

msw-lime.JpgAt the NWA Boutiqe Show a few Saturdays ago, our Motherlode booth was right next to a local Scentsy Wickless Candle rep.

We told her that we’d just heard from the national company and were planning a Sweet-Smelling Mother’s Day Giveaway from Scentsy. I had just received my free mid-size (decorative) warmer from the company and a wide array of “Scentsy Bars” to melt in it. I couldn’t wait to get home and try more of the fragrances — and it was fun to see all the different warmer options on display right beside us all day. Judging from the sheer number of ceramic warmers — and the number of women who walked up to Melanie’s booth and happily cried “Scentsy!” — there’s definitely enough variety to fit every mama’s style.

The company said if we liked the product, they’d be willing to ship out five warmers — and great-smelling Scentsy bars — to five of our nwaMotherlode readers.

Well, we did and they are!

How to win Scentsy for yourself: We wanted to do this giveaway so that the five winners would have their goodies in hand by Mother’s Day, May 9. All you have to do is hit the orange comment button below and tell us your favorite “type” of scent. (Here’s a link to the fragrance options.) They have a wide array of fragrances under the following categories: bakery, tropical, spring & summer, spa, romance and cafe. Chances are, with so many choices, they probably have a Scentsy bar to match your mood or taste.

Don’t forget to tell your friends about this giveaway to increase your chances of winning! We’ll give you an extra “vote” for every person you tell. Just CC us on the email so we’ll know just how many times to throw your name in the hat!

Gwen was already familiar with Scentsy — she owns warmers and some of their plug-ins — but I was a newbie. I started out with the bar Inner Peace and continued with White Tea and Cactus, then French lavender. Really, they all smelled fabulous, but I have to say my two favorites are Green Tea Smoothie and Beach. My husband noticed the great smell right away — and he clicks the warmer on if I forget.

I don’t have a small child, but I can definitely appreciate the positives to the wickless aspect of the candle. The scent-infused candle bars are melted by a low-watt light bulb (reminds me of a night light bulb) and it gives off a pleasant glow. Of course, I do have pets and I’m always worrying about them knocking over one of my candles and burning down the house. No flame at all works for me. (I also hate the ugly soot, so this is ideal.)

And since a mama’s job most always involves some not-so-sweet scents, Green Tea Smoothie — or maybe I’ll try Rainforest today — makes for a better-smelling nest.

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Mealtime Mama: Breakfast Delights

One of my daughter’s favorite things about visiting her grandparents is the food. MeMee always makes a batch of “famous” (according to an adoring granddaughter) waffles on Saturday morning. I thought I’d share this winning recipe along with some other yummy breakfast treats we like.

MeMee’s Famous Waffles

base_media1.jpg1 1/2 cups self-rising flour

2 tablespoon oil (canola or vegetable)

3 tablespoons sugar

1 cup milk

1 egg (slightly beaten)

Mix all ingredients together (except egg), adding a little extra milk if necessary. Mixture should be fairly thin. Add beaten egg to mixture. Stir to blend. Eat with melted butter and thick syrup for maximum effectiveness. And while you’ve got out those ingredients, consider making the following delicious muffins.

Fresh Fruit Muffins

berries-large.jpg1 cup whole-wheat flour

1 cup all-purpose flour

2 tsp baking powder

2/3 cup sugar

2 T flax seed

1/2 tsp salt

4 oz. almond paste

2/3 cup whole milk

1/4 cup butter, melted

1/2 tsp tsp vanilla extract

1 large egg, slightly beaten

1/4 cup chopped white chocolate

1/2 cup sliced almonds, lightly toasted

1 1/2 cups chopped fresh cranberries, raspberries, strawberries or fresh or frozen blueberries

Preheat oven to 400. Lightly spoon flours into dry measuring cups; level with a straight edge. Combine flours, baking powder, sugar, flax seed and salt into a large bowl. Mix well. Tear almond paste into small pieces and add to flour mixture. Work mixture between your fingers until paste is in very small pieces. Combine milk, butter, extracts, and egg into another bowl and mix well. Add wet ingredients to dry all at once and lightly stir until combined. Add almonds, chocolate, and fruit. Mix until just combined. Do not over-mix. Spoon into 12 greased muffin cups and bake about 20 minutes.

Banana Nut Muffins

bananas.jpg2 cups all-purpose flour

1/4 cup sugar

1 T baking powder

1/2 tsp salt

1 cup milk

1 egg, beaten

1/3 cup vegetable oil

3/4 cup mashed banana

1/2 cup chopped walnuts

Preheat oven to 400. Sift flour, sugar, baking powder and salt into a medium bowl. Make a well in center. Mix milk, egg, oil, banana and walnuts in a small bowl. Pour mixture into well. Mix batter just until moistened. Spoon batter into greased muffin cups. Bake about 15 minutes.

Have a good morning!

Challenges of the Millenial Generation: What Parents Need to Know

Drug Free Rogers-Lowell would like to invite you to attend the “Challenges of the Millennial Generation: What Parents Need to Know” training.

The guest speaker will be Isabel Burk, director of The Health Network. Burk is a nationally known, award-winning expert on drug prevention, safety policies, and health education issues. Her professional achievements have been honored by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Northeast Center for Safe and Drug-Free Schools , and the New York State Department of Health. Isabel has written two books, more than 100 articles and has appeared on 20/20, CBS This Morning, The View, Phil Donahue, Fox News, and others.

There will be two opportunities to attend the training. The first training will be held on Tuesday, April 27th from 6-7:30 at the Shewmaker Center in Bentonville and the second training will be held on Wednesday, April 28th from 6-7:30 at Landmark Baptist Church in Siloam Springs.

RSVP’s are required by April 26, 2010 to Lauren Marquette at lauren@rogerslowell.com or (479) 619-3198.

Devotion in Motion: Not Really Hungry

6 “Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness, For they shall be filled.”  Matthew 5:6 (NKJV)

By Bro. John L. Cash, “Country Preacher Dad”

In our family, we often talk about the Christmas when our son Seth was 2-years-old.  In fact, we have kind a shorthand title for it: “The Christmas Seth Didn’t Eat Anything.”  Now, if your house is like ours, there’s always a feast of good things to eat on the day of happy Yuletide celebration.  On that joyful day, over a dozen years ago, Susan prepared a wonderful breakfast for us. But as we sat down to enjoy the morning meal of biscuits and eggs, along with sausage and bacon and homemade preserves—well, Seth didn’t eat anything!

And then, later on, when we sat down to our traditional dinner of turkey and dressing, ham and sweet potatoes, vegetables, bread and five desserts—well, Seth didn’t eat anything!

And finally, at supper when we sat down to enjoy the leftovers (along with treats Santa had left in our stockings)—well, Seth didn’t eat anything, again!  Susan said, “Maybe he’s not feeling well. I hope he’s not coming down with something.”

We didn’t think too much about it, until it was time for the boys to get ready for bed. Susan said, “John, will you get Seth, and help him get his bath?” So, I went to his bedroom to retrieve him. At first, I couldn’ find him but then a noticed a leg sticking out from under his bed. When I pulled him out from his hiding place, he had an open bag of fun-sized candy bars in his left hand, a  PayDay candy bar in his right hand, payday-candy-bar.jpgand his mouth crammed full of nougat surrounded by delicious salted peanuts. The mystery was solved!

Even though Seth was not a big talker (then, or now) we sort of pieced together the most likely scenario.  About 7 a.m.,  Seth confiscated the sack of PayDay candy bars that Santa had left in my stocking, and having foresight, hid them under his bed. After doing that (judging from the pile of wrappers under the bed) every time Seth felt a bit hungry or weak during the day, well, he just crawled under the bed and ate a few. When we sat down for meals, it wasn’t that Seth was sick or that he didn’t like the food on the table.  He was just full of other things.

I think there’s a good spiritual lesson here. The Devil doesn’t always have to make us “bad”—he just makes us “busy”. And he doesn’t have to make us hate the “meal” of reading and hearing God’s Holy Word—he just makes sure that we are “full” of other things.

Dear mama, I know you are busy with all the things that mothers are required to do. But in these busy days, take time to feed your spirit by spending time with the things of God. Our Loving Father prepares a daily feast for His children. Make sure to save some room.

Dr. John L. Cash is the “Country Preacher Dad.” He was raised in Stuttgart, Arkansas, and is in the middle of his 25th year of being a country preacher in the piney woods five miles south of the little town of Hickory, Mississippi.  He and his lovely wife, Susan, and his sons, Spencer (age 18) and Seth (age 15) live in the parsonage next door to the Antioch Christian Church (where we still enjoy an occasional Payday candy bar.) He would love to hear from you in an email sent to extramailbox@juno.com.

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